Manchester United are set to make a £40million bid for Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane this summer.
According to Mirror online Manchester United boss, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has told United bosses he wants Varane at Old Trafford next season to partner skipper Harry Maguire.
Varane, a World Cup winner with France in 2018, has spent the last decade at Real but is understood to have told them he wants a new challenge.
The 28-year-old has one year left on his contract and United are confident they can take advantage of that by landing him for around £40m.
United have tried to sign Varane on a couple of occasions in the past, but are hopeful they can make it third-time lucky this summer.
Solskjaer has admitted United need two or three world-class signings this summer to challenge for the title, with a central defender a priority.
United’s 4-2 home defeat to Liverpool on Thursday exposed the shortcomings of centre-backs Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly, with Maguire sidelined through injury.
Maguire’s value to United has been underlined in their last two games, with Solskjaer’s men conceding six goals in his enforced absence.
With Maguire struggling to recover from ankle ligament damage in time for the final, Solskjaer wants players to show leadership qualities in his absence.
“Harry has been amazing since he came to the club,” said Solskjaer.
“He’s been more or less ever-present, so of course, when a player is a leader, a captain, the status of him, his presence is missed.
“But then we have players who can come in and it’s a chance for everyone to take on that little bit of leadership. We need to do that when he’s gone.
“You can hear him in the stands when he’s not playing.
“He’s important for us and someone else has to take that responsibility now, because I’m sure that in the next two games we’ll be without him.
“Hopefully, we can get him back for the final, but who knows? I don’t know yet.”